Because of your donations students from our Child Education Sponsorship Program (CHE) have been receiving medical checkups as part of the yearly Jornada Medica. It is wonderful to see students waiting eagerly to see their doctor and to hear parents express the benefits these medical visits bring to their children.
The visits are a comprehensive checkup on the child’s health, which allows the doctor to address the illnesses many children face that prevent them from attending school regularly: stomach problems caused by intestinal parasites, scabies, toothaches, earaches, and vision problems. Medications and vitamin supplements are distributed for those that need them as well as referrals for the August dental checkup. During the Jornada CHE also monitors weight and height of each student, which allows us to address malnourishment issues amongst the benefited families.
Healthy bodies translate into healthy minds, allowing students to stay in school longer and pursue new career opportunities. With your support, we will continue to provide these checkups to children in need across the Santiago Atitlan region. All of us – the staff at Pueblo a Pueblo and the children in our program – deeply appreciate your contribution.
Last week all our partner school students participated in Santiago’s Olympic School Games. Boys and girls competed against each other in team sports as well as track and field. It was great to see students from Pueblo a Pueblo’s programs competing and giving it 110%!
Sponsored children were seen all around town running in their physical education uniforms and new sneakers, donated by their sponsors through our Child Education Sponsorship program. These uniforms gave students the opportunity to participate and enjoy all of the Olympic activities as well as have appropriate gear during Physical Education Class.
This simple fact can seem insignificant for us but it is so meaningful in a child’s health and education: these gifts make it possible for students to fully participate in all of their school activities, which help strengthen their self-esteem, wellbeing, and their relationships with peers and teachers.
This week, backpacks-for-sale line the streets of Santiago, teachers are hard at work preparing their lesson plans, and Pueblo a Pueblo is preparing for another year of educational support in our 7 partner schools.
The new school year commences on Monday, and for many parents in Santiago Atitlán, this day marks the beginning of another year of anxiety over expensive school costs and the possibility of having to force their children withdraw from school for economic reasons. For 6 years, Pueblo a Pueblo’s Child Education Support program has been helping elementary school-aged children access an education they could otherwise not obtain. This year, 149 students from the Chukmuk, Panabaj and Chacayá public elementary schools will be provided with the class supplies, books, uniforms and one-on-one support they need to succeed in school. The Guatemala office has turned into temporary chaos as pencils, notebooks, art supplies, glue and much more are packed into backpacks for the students sponsored through our program. Monday morning, supplies will be provided to these children and with them the possibility of a brighter future.
Our other programs are also making preparations for a year full of new plans, goals and projects! Literacy activities in the Chukmuk School Library will continue as well as classes in our organic school gardens, and our activity coordinators are excited to get back to working with the children and teachers of our partner schools. In 2013, Pueblo a Pueblo is reaffirming its’ dedication to community-wide education through increased trainings for teachers, parents and community members. As an organization, we are aware that the success of our programs relies on the participation of all members of the school community, and we are constantly working to strengthen leadership and empower our partners through comprehensive educational programs.
A new year brings new possibilities, and this year we are looking forward to seeing the dreams of our partner school children, teachers, parents and staff being realized. Thank you for your continued support!
The school year is nearing its end in Santiago Atitlan and while most schools are getting ready to close the gates for the 2 month recess, Panabaj School is still working hard to make the buildings and outdoor spaces welcoming and attractive for the over 200 students that study here. This month, as part of Pueblo a Pueblo’s Organic School Garden project, Panabaj School participated in a fun competition centered on the concept of sustainable urban gardens. The garden competition encouraged the use of small spaces, and inspired children to start thinking about innovative re-uses for materials that they encounter every day at home, on the street or at school.
Pueblo a Pueblo’s Organic School Garden project serves as a tool for enriching the learning environment for children, and is based on the idea that a school garden and a classroom should be complementary and interchangeable spaces. We love working with teachers and students on fun hands-on projects where the children can learn and take their new knowledge home!
Together with the 4 other schools that participated, Panabaj School did an amazing job transforming small corners of the campus into beautiful garden spaces. The competition was based on four categories: the use of recycled materials, creativity, quality & functionality, and student-teacher participation.
The school community of Panabaj once again demonstrated how, when they come together for a single common purpose, so much can be accomplished. Now the school not only has electricity in the classrooms, fresh paint, and working bathrooms with doors, it also has an array of plants to warm up the school. And even better, everything was planned and directed by the school itself, showing students’ and teachers’ creativity to shine.
Thanks to donors to the reconstruction project, the students and teachers can now be proud of the beautiful school they have knowing that they too have contributed to its improvement!
Panabaj Primary School was fortunate to have a group of undergraduate students from Ohio State University raise money to paint the school. The volunteers provided a much needed face lift to the school, which sat idle since 2005 after damage from Hurricane Stan forced the school community to relocate to a provisional building. The group kept busy over the course of two weeks, painting the bathrooms and the exterior walls. They took advantage of the two week inter-school sports tournament so as not to interrupt classes. Teachers , students and parents then finished up inside the classrooms the following week. Teacher Jaime Martin Chipir Sajquiy spoke about the volunteers: “It is a surprise that they have painted a school stained by Hurricane Stan and that they came to give life to a healthy and pleasing school.”
Before the volunteer group arrived and just in time for the rainy season when dark clouds block the sun and make classrooms dark, we completed repairs to the school’s electrical circuits, bringing lights to classrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen. Kids and teachers are excited to finally be able to light their classrooms. In addition, several of the classrooms that were missing doors have now been secured with sturdy metal doors. Window frames have also been fixed, securing the school property from possible break-ins.
Many thanks to the Ohio State University students and all of you who have contributed to rebuilding Panabaj Primary School. Your help is creating a safe and beautiful learning environment for over 200 students!
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